The Apostle Paul says that the wife is “bound” to her husband as long as he lives (Romans 7:2). The principle here is that either the husband or wife has to die before the marriage bond is broken. This is God’s command, but in our modern society marriage ends in divorce over 51 percent of the time. That means that over half of the couples who make the vow “Till death do us part” break that vow.
What can the married couple do to ensure that their marriage will last? The first and most important issue is one of obedience to God and His Word. This is a principle that should be in force before the marriage. God says, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” (Amos 3:3). For the born-again believer, this means not beginning a close relationship with anyone who is not also a believer. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). If this one principle were followed, it would save a lot of heartache and suffering later in marriages.
Another principle that would protect the longevity of a marriage is that the husband should obey God and love, honor, and protect his wife as he would his own body (Ephesians 5:25-31). The corresponding principle is that the wife should obey God and submit to her own husband “as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22). The marriage between a man and a woman is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church. Christ gave Himself for the church and He loves, honors, and protects her as His “bride” (Revelation 19:7-9).
When God brought Eve to Adam in the first marriage, she was made from his “flesh and bone” (Genesis 2:21) and they became “one flesh” (Genesis 2:23-24). Becoming one flesh means more than just a physical union. It means a meeting of the mind and soul to form one unit. This relationship goes far beyond sensual or emotional attraction and into the realm of spiritual “oneness” that can only be found as both partners surrender to God and each other. This relationship is not centered on “me and my” but on “us and our.” This is one of the secrets to a lasting marriage. Making a marriage last until death is something both partners have to make a priority. Solidifying one’s vertical relationship with God goes a long way toward ensuring that the horizontal relationship between a husband and wife is a lasting, and therefore God-honoring, one.